Best Practices


5 ways to reduce employee anxiety

Knowledge is power. When employees feel in the dark about upcoming change, they’ll naturally be apprehensive and nervous. It’s important to explain the business reasons behind the change and how it supports the company’s plans for growth. The best thing we can do to build acceptance of change is to give employees information that’s consistent, reliable and up to date.

Consider incorporating one or more of these ideas into your change communications:

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Start early

Just because corporate isn’t talking about the change doesn’t mean that employees aren’t. Without clear communication, employees will fill the information vacuum with speculation and rumor. That can undermine morale, build anxiety and derail acceptance of change. Tell them as much as you can, as soon as you can, so they can prepare themselves mentally, emotionally and logistically.

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Encourage questions

Try to create a dialogue with employees so it’s a two-way street. Provide at least one channel for them to express questions or concerns and ensure that you have someone in leadership lined up to respond without letting questions fall into a black hole. You might invite questions in a town hall, on the intranet or via email. Employees want to be heard, but it’s also helpful for corporate to hear what they have to say.

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Let them vent

Not everyone is going to be happy about every change, or even accept that there are business reasons why that change needs to occur. Provide some way for employees to blow off steam and share their frustrations. This could be an employee survey or a one-question pulse survey, or some ability to share feedback. You can’t build acceptance of change until you’ve given employees a chance to express their emotions.

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Include everyone

If you have employees on manufacturing lines, in retail locations or in other positions that don’t involve sitting in front of a computer, be sure you’re communicating the change through channels that reach them. Try to include at least one channel directly from corporate to these frontline employees, rather than relying solely on managers to cascade information. If they don’t have online access, look for some low-tech solution.

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Prep managers

Build acceptance of change by making it as easy as possible for your managers to share a consistent message — with toolkits that include several different types of communication, from face-to-face to digital and posters to presentation decks. Both desk and non-desk employees will turn to their immediate managers with questions and reactions, so help them respond with confidence.

How can we help?

Tribe does internal communications – and that’s all we do. We’re a full-service shop, from audits and strategy to creative and production.

Steve Baskin
President and Chief Strategy Officer
Office: (404) 256-5858
Mobile: (404) 663-7910
[email protected]